Open letter: Elsevier access suspended

From our University Librarian

Open letter: Elsevier access suspended

TO: The UC Berkeley academic community
FROM: Jeff MacKie-Mason, University Librarian and Professor
RE: Elsevier access suspended

July 10, 2019

The University of California has been out of contract with Elsevier since January, but until now the publisher continued to allow access to 2019 articles via its web platform, ScienceDirect. As of today, July 10, UC’s direct access to new Elsevier articles has been discontinued.

What is affected: Members of the UC community no longer have direct access to:

  • 2019 articles in all Elsevier journals
  • Older articles in certain journals (download the list)

What is not affected: Articles published before 2019 in most Elsevier journals (covering about 95% of historical usage) should continue to be available via ScienceDirect.

Please note that the process for discontinuing access is complex, so access to specific journals or articles may fluctuate until Elsevier’s rollout of these changes is complete.

The systemwide faculty Senate has encouraged stakeholders across UC to use alternative access methods or contact their campus library for assistance in obtaining articles, and to refrain from any new independent subscriptions to Elsevier journals at this time. “By ‘holding the line,’” the Senate leadership writes, “the UC can help change the system of scholarly communication for the betterment of all.”

How to get the articles you need

Information about other ways to access Elsevier articles is available on the Library’s website and summarized below. There are several options — plus, the Library is always here to help.

What happens next?

We will be carefully evaluating the impact of losing access to new articles on ScienceDirect over the coming months, and will do our best to ensure that you have access to the articles you need. Meanwhile, UC is hoping to re-enter formal negotiations with Elsevier if the publisher indicates that they are willing to discuss a contract that integrates the university’s goals of containing costs and facilitating open access to UC research.

If you have any questions or need help accessing an article, please don’t hesitate to contact the Library at at any time.

Jeff MacKie-Mason
University Librarian
Professor, School of Information and Professor of Economics

Important Updates to MLA International Bibliography & LION Databases!

This is a piece of important information for the users of the Literature Online (LION) or the MLA International Bibliography, you may have probably noticed some significant modifications lately.

The MLA International Bibliography and the MLA Directory of Periodicals will now be located solely on the EBSCO platform. The interface looks different, however, the content and the functionality have not changed. The Bibliography indexes journal articles and other critical scholarship in both North American, Latin American and International literatures, languages, linguistics, and folklore.

MLA Bibliography

Literature Online (LION) also has a new interface. Here you can find the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL), digitized poetry, prose, and drama, reference resources on literature, and Cambridge Companions to literature. The MLA International Bibliography is no longer available in LION.


You can get to the MLA International Bibliography and LION from the Library’s Literatures in English research guide or by searching for them under the Library’s Databases search tab.

Database Tab

More information

Library acquires a rare 1624 Mexican imprint: Primera parte del sermonario, dominical, y sanctoral, en lengua mexicana : contiene las Dominicas, que ay desde la Septuagesima, hasta la vltima de Penthecostes, platica para los que comulgan el iueues sancto, y Sermon de Passion, pasqua de Resurreccion, y del Espiritusanto, con tres sermosnes [sic] del sanctissimo sacrame[n]to / compuesto por el P. maestro Fr. Iuan de Miiangos, de la Oaden [sic] del glorioso Padre, y Doctor dela Iglesia. S. Augustin.

As the librarian for Latin American collections in the Doe Library, I find it rewarding to collaborate with my counterpart librarians in Bancroft Library. It is important for such collaborations to thrive so that our collections can continue to prosper and meet the needs of our users in future years. To this end, I was able to contribute some funding towards a purchase of a rare Mexican book that is entitled, “ Primera parte del sermonario, dominical, y sanctoral, en lengua mexicana : contiene las Dominicas, que ay desde la Septuagesima, hasta la vltima de Penthecostes, platica para los que comulgan el iueues sancto, y Sermon de Passion, pasqua de Resurreccion, y del Espiritusanto, con tres sermosnes [sic] del sanctissimo sacrame[n]to / compuesto por el P. maestro Fr. Iuan de Miiangos, de la Oaden [sic] del glorioso Padre, y Doctor dela Iglesia. S. Augustin.“. The book was published in 1624 in Mexico. The rare books are usually very expensive and pooling of resources is often helpful when it comes to purchasing such items. The book’s printer is Alcázar, Juan Blanco de, 1620-1657, and it will be made available to users in Bancroft Library.

The image below is of a book with the same title that is held by the JCB Library and it is from the Internet Archive. I was fortunate to take some pictures of Bancroft Library’s copy due to new wonderful changes in the new permissions policy at UC Berkeley. Thanks to Rachael, Michael and our colleagues in the Scholarly Communications office. Please click here to access some select photos of the item.

The book is in Nauhatl language. And its description is as follows:  [18], 564, [92] pages : portrait (woodcut) ; 20 cm (4to)
Note On title page, date of publication precedes bookseller statement. Collection of sermons for the church year, in Nahuatl.

A second part, promised in the introduction, was never completed; see Santiago Vela, G. Ensayo de una biblioteca ibero-americana de la Orden de San Agustin, volume 5, page 495.

Signatures: [[par.]]⁴ 2[par.]⁴ 3[par.]1 A-4N⁴.

Title vignette (portrait of St. Augustin, surrounded by a Latin verse beginning “Hoc opus Aurelio patri …”); image of a saint on title page verso; head- and tail-pieces; historiated initials.

Printed marginal notes.

“Tabla de los sirmones que contiene este libro”: page [565]; “Tabla de los lugares asi de la Sagrada escriptura [in Latin]”: pages [566-590]; “Tabla remissiva a otros Euangelios, assi de Dominicas, como de Santos [in Latin and Spanish]”: pages [591-639]; “Phrases, y modos de hablar elegantes y metaphoricos, de los Yndios mexicanos … [in Nahuatl]”: pages [639-652].

If one is inclined to see how the book looks like one can see the JCB Library’s digitized copy in the Internet Archive here.

And the UC Berkeley Library’s copy can be seen here.

For fair use purposes, as the book is in public domain, I am embedding the screenshot of the JCB’s copy that is posted through the Internet Archive.





New books from Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico

Please click on individual images of the books below to get access to the album of newly purchased Dominican and Puerto Rican books. We are trying to develop in sustainable ways our collection of Caribbean Studies on campus. Some have criticized this decision citing the wrong coast that we are on. However in today’s interconnected world, the geographies become blurry and in some contexts irrelevant. We hope that you can also enjoy our new Caribbean Studies guide.

Dominican Republic


Puerto Rico.

Library acquires- Invenção : revista de arte de vanguarda.

Invenção : revista de arte de vanguarda is one of the important and well-known periodicals of Brazilian Concrete Poetry Movement. Décio Pignatari along with his colleagues Haroldo de Campos and Augusto de Campos founded the Brazilian concrete poetry movement. I was lucky to have support of two other exemplary colleagues- Ms. Stacey Reardon and Ms. Lynn Cunningham who helped me through their fund contributions that has made this purchase possible. These issues are cataloged and now deposited in the Bancroft Library. The select images of these periodicals select images of these periodicals can be found by clicking on the icon below.


Select new books from Peru!

As we are now officially in the Summer break, I will be posting somewhat irregularly. However please do remember that I do keep purchasing and getting new books from various Latin American countries. I am presenting you with an interesting group of Peruvian new books. Among them, there are several interesting titles. One of them isLo real es horrenda fábula. La violencia política en literatura peruana. The book is comprised of twenty-four articles by eight new scholars analyze poems and stories by important Peruvian writers of the second half of the twentieth century related to one of the most transcendental moments of national history and that to this day challenges us. The other title is “César Vallejo. La vida bárbara” by Jorge Nájar.

Please click on the icon below to browse the covers of these select books from Peru!



Puerto Rico: Select new books @ Doe Library

The resilience of the PR’s people, its determination to move forward and onwards despite devastating hurricanes continues to serve as a source of unending inspiration for me as a librarian. Today, I present you with an album of several new Puerto Rican books that we have received in our library. Among them, there are several books that are worth mentioning separately. I will only name a few new titles and provide you with the links to the album of many more images of books from Puerto Rico. One of these titles is Hurracanada by Mayra Santos Febres. The other two books are Beatriz Llenín Figueroa’sPuerto Islas : crónicas, crisis, amor, and El Grupo de Puerto Rico y Crisis Dominicana de 1965 by Walter R. Bonilla Carlo. Please click on the icons below to gain acces to the photos of the Puerto Rican books.

Hurracanada of Mayra Santos Febres

Venezuela: From Crisis to Crisis- Select books

At the time of writing this post, Venezuela was in a full-blown political and economic crisis. The unprecedented inflation, two presidential hopefuls, and industry in the shambles, confusion, hunger and violence seemed to be the norms of the daily life for millions of innocent, decent Venezuelans. Despite the crisis, what surprised me was the ability of the Venezuelan governmental and non-governmental entities to continue to publish relatively exciting works in extraordinary times. Below, I am presenting you with the latest batch of remarkable books from remarkable books from Venezuela I am also posting some images of interesting books separately.

One of the interesting books is Cuaderno de Otra Parte by Santiago Acosta. The author’s website describes it as follows, “«Un poemario que, si bien parte de lo que se ha dado en llamar la diáspora venezolana, lleva el tema en otra dirección, con una voz que se burla de sí misma en su empeño por cumplir con los ritos del que se fue. En tal sentido, obviando la lectura que hace de esta una escritura del exilio, este texto se centra más bien en la distancia como elemento organizador del

The other equally interesting book is, El Chavismo El Chavismo Salvaje.

Lastly, Tiempos de Incertidumbre by Nelson Guzmán reflects upon the uncertain times in contemporary Venezuela.


In light of the release of Argentina Human Rights Records by the US National Archives, I wanted to bring to the attention of our readers the Argentina Declassification Project’s Responsive Records component that is hosted by the These records can be downloaded as zip files for individual analysis and allow us to form a cohesive opinion about several social processes that took place in the history of Argentina including the processes that were influenced by the “Western” powers.

These records can be accessed below on clicking on the hyperlinks.

Responsive Records:

Below is the landing page of used for academic purposes only.